ISLAMABAD, December 17, 2012: Only four Senators were observed to be present at the outset of the 4th sitting of the ongoing Senate’s session, which met for two hours and seven minutes. The sitting, which started 41 minutes late, adopted a Resolution to establish shelter houses for senior citizens.
However, the house did not take up five Motions under Rule 218 and three other Resolutions as the prime movers were absent. A maximum of only 28 out of the total membership – 104 – were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Deputy Chairman, along with the parliamentary leaders of PML, BNPA and PMLF did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and seven minutes.
- The sitting started at 1641 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The proceedings started late by 41 minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Chairman was not present.
- The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition attended the entire sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of MQM, ANP, NP and JUIF attended the sitting while those of PML, BNPA and PMLF remained absent.
- Only four Senators (4% of the total membership – 104) were present at the start, while 15 (14%) were there when the sitting adjourned. A maximum 28 Senators were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- Two minority members attended the sitting.
- Five Senators applied for leave.
- The house took a 29-minute break for prayers.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Question Hour was not held as today was a Private Members’ Day.
- A Resolution calling upon the government to establish shelter houses for senior citizens was unanimously adopted by the house. A total of 18 members spoke on the Resolution.
- As the concerned minister was not present, the Resolution calling upon the government to carry out performance based financial audit of the power distribution companies was deferred till next sitting.
- Another Resolution on the establishment of institute for boarding and lodging of children of unknown parentage in Islamabad was deferred for further discussion after being taken up.
- Five Motions under Rule 218 and three Resolutions were not taken up as the prime movers were absent.
Order and Institutionalization
- Two Points of Order were raised which consumed five minutes of the sitting time. None of the points of order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Senators’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visible lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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